Rural History

A lottery for Georgia's "exceeding good land"

Central Role of Church

Central Role Of The Church

The first thing these European settlers did was to establish a church which embraced all the neighbors within a few miles.  While, the churches provided spiritual comfort it was more about creating some sense of community and stability. The churches were the center of everything for these early yeomen farmers. The church was community center, dating service, court house with judge and jury, and everything else that a community had to have to function as a civilized society. The early churches were established at the beginning of each new treaty and the resulting land settlement.  As soon as the new community of pioneers moved in and began the process of clearing land and planting crops, the churches quickly appeared. Sometimes the congregation met with barely a roof over their head in “brush arbor” structures. But soon there emerged a communal place of fellowship and worship that usually involved a simple, one room building with various structural enhancements that were part of the accepted religious architecture of the time. These early churches ranged from primitive outbuildings to more elaborate structures and they were hand built with whatever local materials were at hand. Though simplistic in structure they projected hope, comfort and safety with an architectural dignity that was appropriate for the center piece of this rural lifestyle. This website will tell some of the stories of these early Georgia pioneers using the church, its architecture, its history and its cemeteries as the focus that it deserves.

Georgia Today - 159 Counties

The county system is the bedrock of the American governance system within each state. It evolved from the English system which began as “shires” in the 7th century but evolved into a county system over time. In America, counties serve as the principal political subdivision of each state, although how many counties and the number of people served per county is another matter. Georgia now has 159 counties, second only to the state of Texas, which has 254.

Why so many counties? Lots of reasons, but mainly because it was relatively easy to do and certain people benefited from the creation of a new political entity complete with power, jobs and money. In 1755, the Church of England subdivided the colony into eight original “parishes”. By 1800 the Revolutionary War was over and there were now 24 counties in Georgia. By 1833 Georgia’s external footprint was complete and Georgia had 89 counties. Over 37 Million acres had been “ceded” from the Creeks and the Cherokees in less than 75 years. Today’s 159 counties are the result of an additional 70 counties being carved out of the original 89.

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